August 9th, 2011
Written by Eric J. Lyman, TheHollywoodReporter.com
Famed producer Mike Medavoy was honored at the Locarno Film Festival on Tuesday with the Raimondo Rezzonico career prize, while the winners of the Open Doors co-production lab focus on India awards were announced. The German-Russian co-production 4 Tage im Mai (4 Days in May), a film about a standoff between German and Russian soldiers at an orphanage in the closing days of World War II, was the main film attraction Tuesday, screening in a nearly full Piazza Grande. Director Achim von Borries, who presented the film along with half a dozen cast members, was taken aback by the picturesque venue and the size of the crowd, telling the crowd in German, “What a magnificent place to show a film.”
Just before the screening, Medavoy – who has worked on 16 films nominated for the best film Oscar including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Annie Hall, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, Thin Red Line, Dances With Wolves and Silence of the Lambs -- was presented with his prize, and said he was honored that his storied career led him to Locarno.
“It’s amazing to me that a kid, born in Shanghai, brought up in Chile, with a career in Hollywood ends up after a 48-year career in a wonderful place like the Locarno Film Festival,” Medavoy told the crowd to enthusiastic applause. The festival screened a seven-minute montage created from scenes of several of Medavoy’s best known collaborations, and it will on Wednesday screen Dances With Wolves and One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest and host a round table discussion about his career.
Mike and son Nicky during Mike's acceptance speech.
With the conclusion of the Open Doors sidebar on India, the festival handed out four prizes in addition to fostering contacts between up-and-coming Indian filmmakers and around 70 buyers and distributors that participated in the event. The two main prizes handed out, which carry cash awards of 30,000 Swiss francs ($42,000) and 20,000 Swiss francs ($28,000), respectively, went to The Trapper’s Snare from director Shanker Raman, and producer Rucha Pathak and Burqa Boxers, directed and produced by Alka Raghuram. The sidebar featured a total of 13 films.